Blameless, Barren, Believing Elizabeth
The Advent season is a time of anticipation, waiting, and preparation. During these next weeks before Christmas, Time With God will break from our study of Matthew to explore select passages related to concepts and characters connected with Advent. Please note that there will be no Digging Deeper section.
As a child, the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed to slow to an unbearable, near slow-motion tick. Every minute was filled with anticipation for THE MORNING. Sure, the daily festivities designed to keep our attention off the cleverly disguised “countdown calendar” (referred to by serious grown-ups as Advent) helped. And wonderfully so! There were parties and pageantry, neighborhood tree lightings, tinsel for the tree, season’s greetings from faraway family and friends, home baked goodies of every kind, and probably best of all, music. Between Perry Como and Amy Grant, I sang my way through many Decembers.
Ever looming, though, was the awareness that the pinnacle of the year, the day that made all 364 other days pale in their attempt at glory, was Christmas Day. Because on that day, children believe that something magnificent awaits, hand-picked just for them.
Read the Word
Luke 1:24-25 (ESV)
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Respond to God
Much of the Christmas story, and our own stories, is enveloped in the belief and conviction of what is yet to come. Elizabeth had waited her entire childbearing life for a baby. She was advanced in age, and shamed by her barrenness, but her trust was in God.
In exciting, Christmas-morning style, God gave her John—a son who’d bring joy and gladness, who’d “be great before the Lord… filled with the Holy Spirit,” and who’d “make ready for the Lord a people prepared” (Luke 1:13-17). Worth the wait, indeed!
Thirty years after the birth of Elizabeth’s promised son, “the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ.” But John answered them, “he who is mightier than I is coming…” (Luke 3:15-16).
Expectancy. Wonder. Possibility.
These are the gifts of Advent. And this is how we make our days of waiting count—with childlike confidence and steadfast longing for the wonders of Jesus’ love to be revealed. Our indispensable belief is that Jesus came as a baby, grew as a man, died as a Savior, and lives as King. Our blessed assurance is that he is coming again, and our days of patient anticipation will manifest in joy to the world and glory to God in the highest.